Gilles Dierickx, who left Washington after two seasons with the Huskies, is staying in town and will finish his collegiate basketball career at Seattle Pacific University.
The 7-foot Belgian center should help offset losses along the front line for the Falcons, which won the Great Northwest Athletic Conference tournament and regular-season title before falling in the second round of the Division II NCAA tournament. He has one year of eligibility.
“His size will allow him to score offensively for us in an area where we need it, around the basket,” SPU coach Ryan Looney said. “But I think his biggest impact will come with his length defensively and ability to rebound.”
Dierickx, who began his college career at Florida International, redshirted his first year at Washington in 2012-13. He’s been a deep reserve the past two years and was unable to crack the rotation until injuries and attrition depleted UW’s front line during the 2014-15 season.
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The fourth-year junior, who started the final three games, averaged 2.0 points, 4.7 rebounds and 27.3 minutes.
His role is expected to expand at SPU, which needs to replace departing center Corey Hutsen, who averaged a team-leading 15.8 points last season.
“Someone who is transferring from Division I and going to a school like Seattle Pacific that’s Division II, they want to be successful,” Looney said. “They’re going to push themselves to be the best that they can possibly be. Some of the pressure is probably good from that perspective, but at the same time I don’t want the expectation to be unreal.”
Dierickx is the first Husky to transfer to SPU since Dan Claridge, who played two seasons (1997-99) with the Falcons.
SPU and Dierickx are scheduled to play Washington at Alaska Airlines Arena in an exhibition on Nov. 5.